RESIDENTS across Cheshire have reported coronavirus symptoms to the NHS tens of thousands of times since March, new figures show.

NHS England data shows 39,319 occasions when someone in Cheshire East or West boroughs logged possible Covid-19 symptoms from March 18 to May 14.

More than half of those – 55 per cent – were logged in the last two weeks of March, while only nine per cent were reported in the first two weeks of May.

Eighty-five per cent of reports were made using the NHS 111 online assessment site, with the remaining 15 per cent over the phone.

However, separate figures for the north west show there were 36 per cent fewer 111 calls in total in April than in March.

Of the calls taken last month, 23 per cent were abandoned by callers kept waiting for 30 seconds or more.

The Health Foundation said the data shows that many people's needs may have gone unmet during the pandemic, while others' conditions may have become worse.

Sarah Deeny, assistant director of data analytics, added: "As they begin to resume core health services, it is vital that Government and the NHS understand the full extent of people’s unmet health needs."

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said the 111 service performed strongly in April, rebounding from the pressure it faced in March.

He said: "A&E attendances were sharply down, but the majority of these reductions were for lower risk conditions.

"Urgent cancer referrals are now picking back up – having doubled over the past three weeks – and the NHS has launched a public information campaign reminding the people of the importance of seeking care for urgent and emergency conditions.”